The Murrumbateman Eagles and Yass Roos will battle it out in Round 4 of the 2023 AFL Canberra Community Men’s Division Three competition this Saturday, 6 May, at Murrumbateman Park. It will be an epic match where lovers of the game will be able to watch the Yass Valley’s finest use their skills with the red kangaroo leather ball to see who will be on top of not only the competition but who has bragging rights going into the next match.

The clash is a grand final rematch of last year’s decider and will be the first time that the two clubs will face off since the Eagles were crowned premiers on Phillip Oval last August.

Both teams are undefeated to start the season after three rounds and will both be looking to claim outright first on the premiership ladder.

Eagles coach Mark Welsh is looking forward to the challenge of the Roos this weekend at home and knows how dangerous the opposition can be.

“We’ll be preparing for Yass to be tough, quick and fast and obviously have that fire in their belly from the grand final loss last year. We’ve got to be smart enough and willing enough to rise to that kind of level that Yass is going to bring, that we know they bring every game,” Welsh said.

“We’re really looking forward to it, to be honest. We’ve got a bye after this game against Yass, so we’ve said to the guys they’ll have a week off after it so put in everything and don’t leave anything in the change rooms.

“There’s a bit of extra incentive knowing that the winner of the game will go outright top after four rounds. We thought that it would probably be the case looking at the fixture at the start of the season, that we’d probably meet Yass for that top spot. There’s a lot on the line early to set up the rest of the season.”

Yass Roos President Jarrad Forlonge said his Club are preparing well for the grand final rematch this weekend.

“We always want to beat them. It doesn’t really matter what type of game it is, but it just so happens to be now that we’re playing them after a grand final.” Forlonge said.

“I think they’re a really well-drilled team and we sort of are expecting it to be a very hard and very physical game. They had a couple of big wins as well so far, so when two undefeated teams go out, it is always going to be a good game of footy.

“The added little bit to it is the fact that we’re local rivals. The boys are keen, ready to play, and keen to try and get a win back.

“There’s no point really trying to get revenge for the grand final because, again, a game in round four doesn’t really mean the same as the grand final.”

Forlonge said it will be an interesting matchup between the top two positioned sides on the ladder.

“The cream is sort of slowly rising to the top of the competition at the moment. I think it’s pretty clear who the top teams are going to be as we progress through the year,” he said.

“We know that we’re going to have to play Murrumbateman at some point in the finals if we want to win the comp, so it’d be nice to go top after round four, but realistically, there’s still 10 more weeks to go and we’re still going to have to beat everyone to win the comp anyway.

“We’re not going to think about ladder position too much at the moment, maybe later in the year, but for right now we just want to win no matter what.”

Ladder:

  • Murrumbateman – 12 points – 551%
  • Yass – 12 points – 498%
  • Cootamundra – 8 points – 179%
  • Southern Cats – 8 points – 127%
  • Belconnen – 4 points – 45%
  • Eastlake – 0 points – 43%
  • Tuggeranong – 0 points – 31%
  • Goulburn – 0 points – 23%

Tim Warren